Thursday, October 31, 2019


We just learned about the Cam.

Another part of moving things like machines is a Valve.

This is something that opens and closes to let air or water in or out.
We use valves every day, like when we turn on the water to wash hands.

Turning the water on opens the valve, and you can usually open it a little or a lot.
Then turning the water off closes the valve.

(from: wikipedia - valve)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Great Art of Artillery, the First Part

Wednesday, October 30, 2019


We just learned about the Tentacles of a jellyfish.

Another part of a jellyfish is the Nematocyst.

This is the part of the jellyfish that stings its prey, or even stings a person.

They are almost like traps on the jellyfish's tentacles that just wait until they get touched a tiny bit, and then they shoot out and then squirt toxins into their prey to stun them or kill them.

(from: wikipedia - cnidocyte)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Chromatophore

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Ciliary Body

We just learned about the Fibrous Tunic where the Cornea and Sclera are.

Another part of the eyes is the Ciliary Body.

This is made up of two parts: the ciliary muscle, and the ciliary epithelium

The muscle is what squeezes the lens inside the eye to change its shape so you can look at things far away or close up.

The epithelium is what makes the aqueous humour that fills the front of the eye where the pupil is.

(from: wikipedia - ciliary body)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Tooth - Initiation

Monday, October 28, 2019

Czech Hedgehog

We just learned about the Dragon's Teeth used to stop tanks.

Another type of fortification is a Czech Hedgehog.

These were iron bars that were welded together in criss cross patterns and then put out on the ground to stop tanks.
The tanks couldn't drive over them, and they were too heavy to push around.
They also could not be knocked over, because even if they were tipped over they would still make the same kind of X star shape that tanks couldn't drive over.

They were called Czech Hedgehogs because they are spikey like a hedgehog, and they were first used in Czechoslovakia to protect them from German tanks during World War II.

(from: wikipedia - czech hedgehog)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Predjama Castle

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Leo and Attila

We just learned about the Saint Patrick who told people in Ireland about Jesus.

Another part of ancient Christianity was the meeting between Leo and Attila .

Leo was a leader called a Bishop of the church in Rome, Italy.
Rome was usually thought of as the most important city of all, so the Bishop in Rome was usually the most important Bishop and got called the "Pope".

Attila the Hun was a warrior who was attacking all over the place, and in 452 AD came to Italy to try and take over.
The Emperor of Rome sent Pope Leo and a few other people to meet Attila and try to see if they could talk to him and make him not come attack Rome.

No one knows really what was said, but after meeting with Pope Leo, Attila packed up his troops and left Italy.

A person who goes and meets with other leaders of countries is called an "Ambassador" and Pope Leo was thought to be a very good ambassador because he helped save Rome from Attila the Hun.

(from: wikipedia - pope leo i)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Epaphroditus - Bishop of Andriace

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Toltec Atlantean figures from Tula

We just learned about the Montezuma's Headdress.

Another famous Mesoamerican ancient sculpture is the Toltec Atlantean figures from Tula.

These are four big statues that used to be pillars that held up a roof for a building.
They are called atlantean figures, because they look kind of like sculptures of Atlas holding up the world that were found in Europe long ago.

The sculptures are in the town of Tula in the state of Hidalgo in Mexico.
No one knows for sure when they were built, but people think it was around 750 AD, by the Toltec people who lived there.

The statues are over 15 feet tall, have butterfly shaped armor, sun shields, feathered helmets, and spears.
They were warriors that were meant to serve the mythical Quetzalcoatl from ancient times in Mexico.

(from: wikipedia - atlantean figures)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Asura at Kōfuku-ji temple

Friday, October 25, 2019

Russian - Good Morning

We just learned a few ways to say hello and goodbye in Russian, like Привет (privet), Здравствуй (Zdravstvuy), Пока (poka) and до свидания (do svidaniya).

Sometimes you might want to say good morning, good afternoon, or good night.

Good Morning - Доброе утро (Dobroye utro) - sounds like doh-b-day oo-t-doh

Good Day - Добрый день (Dobryy den) - sounds like doh-b-day den

Good Evening - Добрый вечер (Dobryy vecher) - sounds like doh-b-day vee-chay-der

Good Night - Доброй ночи (Dobroy nochi) - sounds like doh-b-day noh-chee

russian language
(from: wikipedia - russian academy of sciences)

Norwegian: God morgen, God dag, God ettermiddag, God kveld, God natt

Greek: Καλημέρα (Kaliméra), Καλησπέρα (Kalispéra), Καληνυχτα (Kalinychta)

ASL: Good Morning, Good Day, Good Evening, Good Night

Italian: buongiorno, buon pomeriggio, buonasera, buona notte

German: Guten Morgen, Guten Tag, Guten Abend, Gute Nacht

Spanish: Buenos días, buenos tardes, buenas noches

French: bonjour, bonsoir, bonne nuit

Thursday, October 24, 2019


We just learned about the linear actuator.

Another type of actuator or moving machine is a Cam.

A cam is a disc usually on a rotor that is spinning around.
The disc is mostly shaped like a circle, but it as a part that sticks out like a bump.
The circle disc is called the camp plate, disc cam or radial cam.

When the rotor spins around, that bump part of the cam can push down on something like a shaft or a pole.
Machines can use this to push those shafts down over and over again.
So every time the rotor spins around, it pushes the shaft down and then back up.

(from: wikipedia - cam)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Lagari Hasan Çelebi

Wednesday, October 23, 2019


We just learned about the Oral Arms of a jellyfish.

Another part of a jellyfish is the Tentacles.

These are the arms that hang down from the edge of the big circular bell of the jellyfish.
The tentacles have stingers on them that help them catch prey, and then the oral arms help bring them up to their manubrium mouth.

(from: wikipedia - jellyfish)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Cephalopod Ink

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Fibrous Tunic

We just learned about the Aqueous Humour.

Another part of the eye is the Fibrous Tunic.

We learned before about the clear cornea bubble at the front of the eye, and the white sclera that makes the outside white part of the eye.

These two parts together are called the fibrous tunic.
The word tunic is an old word for clothing that people wore long ago.

Sometimes the words cornea and sclera are smushed together and just called the corneosclera.

(from: wikipedia - fibrous tunic of eyeball)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Odontoblast

Monday, October 21, 2019

Dragon's Teeth

We just learned about the Witch Tower.

Another type of fortification is Dragon's Teeth.

Much later than the old times of swords and arrows, one of the most powerful weapons in war was the tank.

Tanks were pretty much just armored cannons on wheels, and could not be destroyed by soldiers or simple guns.
So people made other ways to stop them, like putting giant spikes into the ground that tanks could not drive over.

(from: wikipedia - dragon's teeth (fortification))

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Bellver Castle

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Saint Patrick

We just learned about Mariology the study of Mary.

Another part of early Christianity is Saint Patrick.

Some time around 430 AD, at the age of 16 a man named Patrick was captured by pirates from the island of Ireland.
He was taken back to Ireland, and was made a slave for 6 years.

Later on he escaped and went back to his home in Britain, and learned to be a Christian.
He knew the people in Ireland were not Christian, so he decided to go back there and tell people about Jesus.

When he went there, some people listened to him and became Christians, and other people did not like him and would put him in jail.
After many years of traveling around Ireland, he helped many people become Christians, and even after he died people still believed and spread the news.

When he died, because he did such a good thing they named him a Saint, so now they call him Saint Patrick.
The day of his death was March 17th, so on that day people celebrate Saint Patrick's day, and his life of service bringing news of God to the people of Ireland.

(from: wikipedia - saint patrick)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Tychicus - Bishop of Colophonia

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Montezuma's Headdress

We just learned about the Teocalli of the Sacred War.

Another ancient mesoamerican work of art is Montezuma's Headdress.

This is a crown made of feathers sewn together, and decorated with some gold plates.
It is about 46 inches tall and 69 inches wide.
There are feathers from four birds: the cotinga amabilis, the roseate spoonbill, the squirrel cuckoo, and the quetzal.

Most of the feathers on the headdress are from the quetzal

(from: wikipedia - montezuma's headdress)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Kongōrikishi

Friday, October 18, 2019

Russian - Hello and Goodbye

We've now learned a whole year of Norwegian!

Let's try another language now, how about Russian?

This is the language of the people of Russia, where over 250 million people speak the language.
A lot of the other countries near Russia also speak it, like Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, and a bunch of other countries.

Russia uses a different alphabet than English, using letters called Cyrillic.

There are some letters that look and sound almost the same, like A and T.
But there are some that are very different like the letter Я which sounds like "ya" or the letter Ш that sounds like "sh"
Let's learn how to say hello and goodbye in Russian!

There are a few ways to say Hello.

Hi - Привет (privet) - Sounds like p-dee-v-yet
This is like saying Hi to your friends.

Hello - Здравствуй (Zdravstvuy) - Sounds like z-d-rah-v-st-voo-ee
This is like saying hello to a grownup, or someone you are meeting for the first time.

There are a few ways to say Goodbye also.

Bye - Пока (poka) - Sounds like pah-kah
This is just like saying bye to your friends.

Good Bye - до свидания (do svidaniya) - Sounds like dah s-vee-dah-n-yah
This is like saying goodbye to people you don't know really well, or to grownups to show respect.

russian language
(from: wikipedia - russian academy of sciences)

Norwegian: Hei, Hallo, Ha det, Ha det brah

Greek: Γειά σου (Geiá sou), Χαίρετε (Chairete), Αντίο (Antío)

ASL: Hello and Goodbye

Italian: Ciao, arrivederci

German: Hallo, Auf Wiedersehen

Spanish: Hola! Adiós!

French: Bonjour! Au Revoir!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Linear Actuator

We just learned about the Rack and Pinion gears.

Another type of thing used in machines is a Linear Actuator.

The word actuator really just means "mover" and there are lots of types of actuators out there.
Linear means moving in a straight line.

So a linear actuator is a type of machine that moves something in a straight line.
We learned before about rotors that spin around in circles in electric motors.
So this is different because it might be moving a rod up or down, back or forward but in a straight line.

Sometimes this is done by having a bolt or screw that has lines on it, and then a nut spinning around on the screw that makes the screw go up and down.
This is a roller screw linear actuator.

(from: wikipedia - linear actuator)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Bellifortis Rockets

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Oral Arms

We just learned about the Manubrium mouth on a jellyfish.

Another part of a jellyfish's body is the Oral Arms.

We learned that the manubrium is the mouth.
The oral arms are connected to the manubrium, and they hang down below the jellyfish like tentacles.
When they sting an animal, the oral arms help bring the food up to their manubrium mouth so they can eat it.

(from: wikipedia - jellyfish)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Cephalopod Funnel

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Aqueous Humour

We just learned about the Vitreous Body gel inside the eye.

Another part of the eye is the Aqueous Humour.

We know that the eye has different layers.
1 - On the very outside is the cornea, the clear part of the eye that you can touch with your finger.
2 - Then there is the pupil which is the hole letting light in, and the colored iris that helps control the size of the pupil.
3 - Behind those is the lens, which is like a magnifying glass that changes shape to help you focus.

In between those layers is some watery liquid that helps keep everything tightly held in place.
This is the Aqueous Humour, and you can think of it kind of like how a water balloon helps keeps the shape of the balloon.

Aqueous is because it is watery, and Humour means like a liquid.
So the name really means watery liquid.

(from: wikipedia - aqueous humour)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Odontoblast

Monday, October 14, 2019

Witch Tower

We just learned about the Trou de Loup trap.

Another part of a castle is a Witch Tower.

This was a tower in a castle that was used as a prison.
In the old times if the people thought someone might be a witch they would keep them locked up in the tower, which is where it got its name.

(from: wikipedia - witch tower)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Palace of Versailles

Sunday, October 13, 2019


We just learned about the wise man Saint Augustine of Hippo.

Another part of early Christianity is Mariology.

This is the study of Mary the mother of Jesus, and exactly who she was and how she gave birth to Jesus.

In 431 AD, a bunch of people met at the city of Ephesus, which is now in Turkey.
They met together because there were people who did not agree on what Mary should be called, and what Jesus was like as a baby.

Some people thought she should be called "Theotokos" which means Mother of God, and others thought she should be called "Christotokos" which means Mother of Christ.

This might not seem like a big deal, but at the time people were still arguing about whether Jesus was a God and Man as one person, or whether he was like a person who also had a separate God personality living inside him.

About 250 different church leaders showed up to argue about this, and they decided she should be called Theotokos, Mother of God.

After this time there were a lot of other people talking about who Mary was, and what her life was like, so this became known as the study of Mariology.

(from: wikipedia - mariology)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Apollos - Bishop of Cæsarea

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Teocalli of the Sacred War

We just learned about the ancient sculpture of The Wrestler.

Another ancient Mesoamerican work of art is the Teocalli of the Sacred War.

This is a stone sculpture that looks like a miniature sized Aztec temple.
Some people believe this was built to be a throne for the ruler of the Aztecs in the 1500s.

(from: wikipedia - teocalli of the sacred war)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Tamamushi Shrine

Friday, October 11, 2019

Norwegian - Vegetables

We just learned how to say some fruits in Norwegian.

Let's learn how to say some vegetables.

carrot gulrot - sounds like goo-l-droh-t
corn mais - sounds like mah-ees
pea erter - sounds like ah-ter

norwegian language
(from: wikipedia - norwegian language)

Greek: καρότο (karóto), καλαμπόκι (kalampóki), μπιζέλι (bizéli)

ASL: carrot, corn, pea

Italian: carote, mais, piselli

German: Karotte, Mais, Erbse

Spanish: zanahoria, maíz, guisante

French: carotte, maïs, pois

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Rack and Pinion

We just learned about the Air Gap in a motor.

Another type of thing used in machines is the Rack and Pinion.

A pinion is a gear, which we learned is a circle with teeth on the end.
The rack is a long flat line that has teeth on it, that match up with the gear.

When the gear spins around, it goes along the rack one way or the other.
These can be used as pinion wheels for something like a train that goes along a rack track, or sometimes as a pinion wheel that climbs up and down a pole that has a rack on it.

(from: wikipedia - rack and pinion)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Shock Diamond

Wednesday, October 9, 2019


We just learned about the Gastrodermis that helps the jellyfish eat.

Another part of the jellyfish's body is the Manubrium.

This is a part that hangs down from the middle of the inside of the jellyfish.
They use it to eat, and also to get rid of waste.

(from: wikipedia - jellyfish)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Octopus Gills

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Vitreous Body

We just learned about the Macula in the back of the eye.

Another part of the human eye is the Vitreous Body.

Inside the eye, most of it is filled up with a kind of clear gooey gel.
It's clear like water, but is thicker almost like jelly.

This is called the vitreous body, or sometimes the vitreous humor.
It helps the eye keep its shape, and it helps keep the vision clear between the lens and the retina.

(from: wikipedia - vitreous body)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Tooth Root

Monday, October 7, 2019

Trou de Loup

We just learned about the Abatis tree fortification.

Another type of fortification is the Trou de Loup, which is French for Wolf Hole.

This is a hole used as a trap that people would dig in front of the castle, and then cover up with something like straw or sticks so people didn't see it until they walked right on top of it.

(from: wikipedia - trou de loup)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Château de Chantilly

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Saint Augustine of Hippo

We just learned about the Saint Ninian in Scotland.

Another person from early Christianity is Saint Augustine of Hippo.

Saint Augustine wrote over 50 books, that helped Christians understand the Bible.

His most famous ones were:

- The City of God: In the year 410 the city of Rome was attacked and defeated by some other people who didn't believe in God. Many people were nervous that this would mean the end of Christianity, so he wrote this book to help give people hope.

- On Christian Teaching: This book helps people understand the books of the Bible, and tells Christian teachers and preachers how to teach the truth.

- Confessions: This was Saint Augustine's book about his own life, and how he became a Christian and asked for forgiveness.

He wrote many other books about things like the Trinity and about people needing free will to believe in God.

(from: wikipedia - augustine of hippo)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Sosipater - Bishop of Iconium

Saturday, October 5, 2019

The Wrestler

We just learned about the Were-Jaguar Sculpture.

Another ancient Mesoamerican sculpture is The Wrestler.

This is a sculpture of a sitting man, made out of an igneous rock called basalt.

The man has his arms out and bent, and one leg forward and one leg back.
Because he looks like he is moving, some people thought it looked like he was getting ready to wrestle.
Historians don't think he was actually supposed to be a wrestler, but maybe someone doing a special ceremony.

This statue doesn't have special markings to say when it was made, so people are not really sure if it was made around 400 BC or around 1500 BC!

It was found in the Mexico state of Veracruz in 1933.

(from: wikipedia - the wrestler (sculpture))

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Shaka Triad of Hōryūji - Tori Busshi

Friday, October 4, 2019

Norwegian - Fruits

We just learned how to say some things to drink in Norwegian.

Let's learn how to say some fruits.

apple eple - sounds like eh-pleh
orange appelsin - sounds like ah-peh-l-seen
banana banan - sounds like bah-nah-n

norwegian language
(from: wikipedia - norwegian language)

Greek: μήλο (mílo), πορτοκάλι (portokáli), μπανάνα (banána)

ASL: apple, orange, banana

Italian: mela, orange, banana

German: Apfel, Orange, Banane

Spanish: manzana, naranja, banana

French: pomme, orange, banane

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Air Gap

We just learned about the Electromagnet.

Another part of the electric motor is the Air Gap.

We learned that the rotor is the part that spins around in the middle, and the stator is the part that is wrapped around it.

The very small space between the rotor and the stator is the air gap.

The smaller the air gap, the better the electric motor will work, but it also needs to be enough space that the rotor won't hit the stator as it is spinning around.

(from: wikipedia - electric motor)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Multistage Rocket

Wednesday, October 2, 2019


We just learned about the jellyfish Mesoglea underneath the bell.

Another part of a jellyfish's body is the Gastrodermis.

This is the part below the mesoglea.
The gastrodermis helps the jellyfish digest the food that gets brought up to their mouth.

(from: wikipedia - gastrodermis)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Mantle

Tuesday, October 1, 2019


We just learned about the Sclera whites of the eyes.

Another part of the eye is the Macula.

This is an oval shaped darker spot on the retina in the back of the eye.
The macula helps you see very detailed colors in bright daylight.

If there is a big picture with lots of colors and shapes, your macula helps you see it all clearly.
Sometimes when people get old their macula doesn't work as well anymore, which can cause blurry vision.

(from: wikipedia - macula of retina)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Crown